How much email traveling out there in cyberspace is spam? As of September 2010, 89.4%. Yep, about 9 out of 10 emails that are sent are emails you or someone like you does not want. But look on the bright side, that’s down from 92.5% in August 2010. I know, I know, from a narrow POV it’s still 9 out of 10. But when we look at the big picture it’s a reduction in the billions.

Now, does this mean that spammers are growing a conscience and realizing what they do is wearing and tearing at the infrastructure that carries their message? Do they know that spam is harmful to the inbox owner who has to take the time and sift through junk emails everyday? Can they fathom that spam is a plague to the tax payer, because governments both local and national have to provide additional equipment, software and manpower needed to combat the problem in some ironic rerun of the Cold War’s arms race gone digital?

Probably not.

Now phishing is on the rise and we must be ever diligent to not fall victim to emails and websites that use familiarity to lure us into giving away sensitive information. I can personally say I was a victim a long, long time ago to a phishing campaign. It was a website that looked exactly like the bank of my credit card. After naively entering the information requested, I realized what a colossal mistake I had made.

So, what did I do to save myself a giant headache? I immediately registered my social security number, phone number and all credit/debit cards with the Federal Trade Commission. Plus I provided the FTC with a trace route of the malicious website. Now I update my information with the FTC every 6 months. I know this can be a chore, but it’s much better than dealing with years of hardship trying to get your life back in order.